Google thrives because of the content people are creating. The more the content, the more the people, the more the ads Google can show.
But amid the 'COVID-19' coronavirus pandemic, things shift a little. As more people look for information more than ever, they need to rely on some legitimate sources they can trust. This is why Google, the search engine giant of the web, wants to pay publishers for the high-quality content they create.
In a blog post, Google said that:
"Today, we are announcing a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year. This program will help participating publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience that lets people go deeper into more complex stories, stay informed and be exposed to a world of different issues and interests. We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon."
This initiative is meant to diversify Google's support for news businesses.
The company wants to build on the value it already provides through its Google Search and its ongoing efforts with the Google News Initiative to help journalism thrive in the modern digital age.
"While we’ve previously funded high-quality content, this program is a significant step forward in how we will support the creation of this kind of journalism. To start, we have signed partnerships with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil," said Google.
And with the initiative, wherever available, Google wants to pay publishers so they can provide users free access to their paywalled articles.
"This will let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read content they might not ordinarily see," added Google.
While the effort is Google's way to help journalism thrive in the digital age, it should be noted that the company isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart.
Google is the search giant of the web that has shown many business successes on the web, the mobile and beyond. With it conquering almost all market is has put its foot on, antitrust regulators around the world are increasingly pushing Google, as well as other powerful platforms, in order to protect consumers from their predatory business practices.
And in this case, regulators want Google to at least compensate publishers for reusing their content.
Until this time, Google had consistently resisted in paying publishers any amount of money for the news they're creating, apart through its advertisement programs.
But seeing how regulators are increasingly pressuring it as advertising revenues at media companies have declined, this licensing program is simply Google‘s attempt to set the terms of the deal.
In other words, Google in agreeing to pay select news publishers for distributing their content, is like showing how Google is finally succumbing to the pressure from antitrust regulators and media firms.
The program from Google is part of its “new news experience” set to launch this 2020, initially on Google News and Discover.